As some of you may recall, when the Wells Fargo cross-selling scandal first came out, CEO John Stumpf blamed the millions of sham accounts that had been opened in customers' names on a few (5,300) rogue employees, who Stumpf claimed had "no incentive to do bad things." That argument didn't sit right when he used it on Elizabeth Warren and it also didn't win him many fans among the employees who've since come out to say "Um, we were incentivized to do bad things because it was clear we'd be fired if we didn't meet the wildly absurd sales goals the bank set for us. Dick." Nor the ones who saw their colleagues promoted for screwing over customers. Or the ones who were punished for reporting the unethical practices. Or the ones who spent 87.9% of their workday getting on conference calls to report how many products had been sold in the prior 180 minutes.
Becky Grimes had trouble enough hitting sales targets as the manager of a busy branch of Wells Fargo in Austin, Texas. But when she moved to run a Wells branch in a much smaller farming town about two hours to the south in 2011, the same targets — 8.5 products per day, per banker — became too much to bear...Ms Grimes had four conference calls every day — at 9am, 11am, 2pm and 5pm — during which she was grilled by a district manager on the sales her team had generated. Staff would come to her in the interim, saying they had done a full profiling exercise on a particular customer, but she would have to turn them back to sell more. “It was pretty ridiculous,” she says. “It bordered on harassment, quite honestly.”
To be fair, Becky and Co. received a full extra hour in between the first and second afternoon calls, which had to have felt downright luxurious following the 9AM-11AM crunch.